How bad is lead in food? How does it get into foods like Maggi noodles?

The human body needs a number of metals for nourishment. However, there are a number of metals that even in their tiniest amount can cause potential harm to the body. Lead is one of them. The confirmation of presence of lead in Maggi noodles of Nestle triggered public outcry because of nothing else.
Lead is a naturally occurring element, found in all parts of earth. It is a metal of a bluish-gray color with no particular taste or smell. It exists in various forms in our environment. It can be present in the soil or the home appliances. In the past there had been many cases of lead poisoning, but with strict monitoring, it has been reduced somewhat.
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Lead poisoning is a very severe medical condition. It is known in various names like plumbism, colica pictorum and saturnism. It is caused by building up of lead in the body to hazardous levels. Organic lead is more toxic than inorganic lead. The metal interrupts many a body activity. Lead produces adverse effects on many parts our anatomy like heart, bones, intestines and kidneys. It also affects our reproductive and nervous systems. Lead is particularly toxic to pregnant women and children, since it causes harm to nervous system. Children suffering from lead poisoning can develop behavior disorders and personality defects. The major symptoms of lead infection can range from abdominal pain, headache and anemia to coma and death.
Lead is one of the most common pollutants. It can enter the body by various means. The exposure to air, food, water, dust and other products contaminated by lead can result in lead poisoning. Many food products these days contain the toxic metal in various levels. It has been found present in many food products like chocolates, fruit juices, milk, fish, and even drinking water.
There are various ways lead can enter food products. If we take example of Maggi noodles, the major parts of the product are the noodle block, the sachet of tastemaker and the packet. The coloring agents used in the tastemaker can be contaminated with lead. Also the water used to make noodles can also be a reason. If nothing else, the package also might have been contaminated with lead. Since the metal is a major presence in industrial process the food might be exposed to lead while being processed by machines.
It is important that the food safety regulations be implemented with precision to avoid such cases. Lead poisoning reportedly causes more than a hundred thousand deaths worldwide a year.

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